I just can’t bring myself to write something about the Sequestration now that it has happened (that is to post Post-Sequestration), so instead I’ll write about the transformation into a horse’s ass, that is Posterior-Equestration.
Horses are extremely elegant animals. As a kid I was obsessed with them to the point that I had posters on my walls of the various breeds, I drew them constantly, and I had my dad build me a stable for my growing collection of My Little Ponies (they developed a boy variety towards the end of my collecting phase but most of mine had iridescent wings and unicorn horns).
Horses are symbols of strength, honor and hard work, riding them either puts one in a particular class of wealth and prestige or ruggedness and individualism. I would say politicians consider themselves of one of these two categories, either part of the aristocracy or mavericks out to save the nation and carry her away to safety.
I grew up thinking that congress was like a stable full of the strongest, fastest and most elegant horses, and I could live with that. But the reality I’ve discovered as a conscious thinking adult has been quite different.
We have all seen the comic portrayal of two actors playing a horse on stage, one wearing the costume of the horse’s front end, the other playing the horse’s ass. The problem is that it takes two people to make the costume successful. In the case of both the democrats and the republicans in congress they have chosen to cede the role of the horse’s head, it’s thinking and better instincts, to lobby groups, big business, and, in the case of the democrats, to the President himself.
That sadly leaves us with nothing but a bunch of horse’s asses carrying a mass amount of governing authority and weight, blindly in different directions. While horse’s asses can crap on each other and occasionally swat flies off one another’s backs, they cannot speak to one another in any meaningful way. The only thing they can possibly do together is stampede. And that’s just what we’re seeing right now.
In Al Gore’s new book, The Future (which he apparently invented after finishing up the Internet), he explores the major forces that are defining the world in which we are living as well as the world that is emerging. I was particularly struck by the chapter entitled Earth Inc. (admittedly it’s the first chapter and I’m only on the second) in which Gore explores the vast interconnections of the global economy and the rise of post-national business. He intimates that these businesses are too large and too complex to be effectively taxed or regulated by any one government, resulting in some of the financial uncertainty we experience.
This picture makes our governments look like small and feeble attempts to tie up an elephant with a dog leash. Not only does the leash not fit and offer no real protection, but the elephant is much smarter and can, to some degree, be brought into a rational and compassionate relationship, becoming a partner in the work (like a horse with a head). But we are too afraid of giving up the autonomy and control we’ve already lost. Our true leaders are no longer in the ring and their asses in congress are filled with fear and behaving irrationally.
I have faith, however, that our quickly emerging Global consciousness and conscience, the same one that recently forced the arrest of 8 police officers in South Africa, holds the capacity to reform and revive the democratic capitalism of which we are all so enamored. We can revive the common will to improve our lives, to level the playing field, and to have real conversations that result in real solutions, but we as citizens have to stop acting like horses asses ourselves, bucking and crapping when we see something we don’t like but otherwise looking the other way. We’ve got to get our heads in the game.